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bucatini bolognese
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Bucatini Bolognese with Garlic Herb Whipped Ricotta 

Bucatini Bolognese is one of my favorite hearty italian pasta dinners. It’s rich and savory and full of flavor - and you can make this robust sauce in less than an hour. I like to top it with herby whipped ricotta but that is totally optional!
Prep Time15 mins
Course: Main Course, pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bolognese, bucatini, italian, meat sauce, red sauce


For the Bolognese

  • 1 lb bucatini pasta
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 3 large carrots diced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 lb ground beef grassfed is best
  • cup tomato paste
  • cup red wine
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream optional but delicious
  • ½ cup grated parmesan divided
  • salt and pepper

For the Ricotta

  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 2 tbsp basil minced
  • 2 tbsp parsley minced
  • ¼ tsp garlic paste
  • ½ lemon zest
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper


For the Bolognese

  • Cook bucatini pasta according to the directions until it’s al dente. Strain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, add onion, carrots, olive oil, ¼ tsp salt and red pepper flakes to a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat.
  • Cook this mixture for 5-10 minutes or until the veggies are beginning to caramelize. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Using a spatula, push the veggies to the side and add the meat and another ¼ tsp salt. Let the meat cook until it’s beginning to brown and caramelize. Use spatula to break it up and mix it into vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring halfway.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir it into the mixture. Cook this for 2-3 minutes or until the paste starts to darken.
  • Pour the wine over the meat mixture to delgaze the pan. Using the wooden spatula, scrape up all the little stuck-on bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Now add the can of crushed tomatoes, another 1.4 tsp salt and stir. Put the lid on and turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes while making sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Once the sauce is finished, add the butter, the cream if you'd like, and half of the grated parmesan and stir. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Turn the heat to low and toss in the pasta. Serve with remaining parmesan cheese and the herby whipped ricotta (from below) on top.

For the Herby Whipped Ricotta

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes before using.


To skip the beef, you could easily replace it with 1 pound of ground pork, turkey, or chicken. The recipe will stay exactly the same.
However if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll want to leave out the meat completely. Instead of adding the beef, you’ll want to add 3 cups of finely diced mushrooms with an extra 3 tbsp of olive oil. Before adding the tomato paste, you’ll just want to make sure that the mushrooms are caramelized and cooked through before doing so.